Post Colonial

If Cecil had rocked up in Calais
he would have been let through –
safe haven is a trophy, too.

[‘Calais crisis: Anger online over reaction to the death of a migrant compared to the killing of Cecil the Lion‘]

Bring it.

Right wing clinging
But the Left wing is singing,
Rising up from the edges,
Marching in on the terraces;
A coiled spring’s innings
Twinning up on the bluff:
Oh, come and have a go
if you think you’re hard enough!

Self-centering

The Centre! The Centre! Everyone thinks s/he knows where it is and none more so than the right-wing political class and its supporters. All opposition to its groupthink is painted as the naive work of upstarts who want to go on some nostalgic trip to another era where it failed to make intellectual arguments that resonated. The prevailing nonsense in Mainstream is that the middle ground has been identified and fixed and that where it has been anchored is correct and reasonable. It’s a given. Job done. Any view; any evidence, experiential, academic or data-sourced that contradicts the groupthink is framed as some regressive, tedious, even dangerous, militant red blight. No wonder people are becoming polarised in their efforts to attack and defend positions.

Groupthink likes to imagine that, because it won the socio-political arguments of thirty, forty years ago, it doesn’t need to win them again. And yet, both tangible and experiential evidence is gradually shifting the collective consciousness to a place of critical mass, where it wants and needs to have the arguments again. Now, not only does this consciousness have a more sophisticated collective with more coherent narratives but it also has that “see, we’ve tried doing it all your way…”

The centre is a point equidistant from the outermost edge(s). Democratically, this implies a place of reconciliation, balance, general consensus, with the potential to expand or shrink its middle by moving, evenly, all ways. The last few decades have seen a steamrollering of consensus without any attention to balance. See how the world wobbles under its asymmetry of power and belief. Move any further to the right and we’ll all fall over the edge. To get back to balance; to find a more representative centre; to reconcile the needs of all people with their individual desires, leftwards is the only shift possible.

What currently passes for commonly accepted socio-economic philosophy in British politics is not the ‘centre ground’. It is merely the core from which crony authority radiates. It’s a self-centre in a bubble. The Right-wing mindset won’t admit quite how much trouble it has caused the world nor how much it, itself, is in but, really, it is just a tatty old flag on a crumbling spire, dying of its own conviction.

Lurching to the Left

“Lurching to the Left” blasts through the megaphone of myopia. The unimaginative, the mischief-makers and the plain selfish hear and attend. With all their might, misanthropic messengers peddle promises of perpetual fruit from a dying tree in an outpost they dare to call ‘the Centre’. These cankers would have you believe that any challenge to established thought is sinister – a direct threat to progress – as though socio-economic fabric is weakened by its weft and requires only their ideological warp.

Apparently it is backward to value socio-economic justice; extreme to desire ethical foreign policies; radical to seek sustainable alternatives. How gauche! How bloody left-field dare it!

This is no lurching to. It is but the understandable, essential and long-overdue recoiling from the arrogance and ignorance of a hardened right. It is an effort to straighten up. People are rejecting the idea that neo-liberal/-imperialist theories of perpetual competition and asymmetrical exploitation of resources and power are in any way civilised when practised.

It’s bad enough that the terrain of common interest has been named for the Left and not simply for basic Humanity but, that the Right clearly enjoys framing political and popular dissent from its groupthink as not just immature and laughable but radical, extreme, even.. And, when the Official Party of Opposition is in a stupor of denial deeper than Peter, what real difference does it make, whether it is Labour’s impotence or lack of will that distances it from so much of the electorate? What the Hell is wrong with them all..?

Perhaps everyone should join the Conservative Party; board its vessel, The Constant Compass and correct its self-righteous settings. It’s £25 to become a standard member. It might be the cheapest way to change course. The way things are shaping up, it might also be the quickest.

What is Labour for?

What is Labour for?
To be an echo chamber
for blame and compromise.
Sheep disguised as sheep,
made weak from the pursuit of power
indivisible now. Purity wears blue.

What does Labour do
But sit at the hob-nailed feet of Moar
in celebration of defeat
and bid its icy hue.
If you can’t beat them…
Make one moron out of two.

What is Labour for?
Transplant co-ordination team
for artificial intelligence.
Middle-men for muddled heads
and curdled hearts;
a stepping stone to Tory parts.

What is Labour for?
History lessons, sport and snark.

 

fa la di da

Go on, then:
Explain to me, again,
You funny sucker,
How there isn’t any money.
I’m prepared to be amused…
Do tell that joke about the ruse
Wrapped in a riddle.
Go on: fiddle me that tune
That goes “impugn fa la di da”
And sing your moxie philodoxy
Of whose means you’re keen
To live within – I need a grin –
Please minstrel up that thing
Where Big Society’s anxieties
Are values and variety –
I’ll try to do the Robot
As you pluck the tired strings.